Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Ghum Loop

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Train 779 on the loop at Batasia

More about the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

  • 779 'Himalayan Bird' is an 0-4-0 Saddle Tank built in 1892 by Sharp Stewart & Co, Atlas Works, Manchester
  • Darjeeling is well known as the home of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) or the 'Toy Train' as the locals refer to it.
  • The line runs for approximately 55 miles from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, climbing over 7000 feet in the process.

darjeeling engine shed

Darjeeling 'Toy Trains' in the shed at Ghum - these 'B' Class locos were still in regular service when photographed in 2002.

The Memsahib and I visited Darjeeling at the end of some weeks travelling around India in 2002 and, as well as the trains, there were series 1 Landrovers everywhere. Imported back in the 1950's and 1960's to replace worn-out jeeps and work on the tea plantations, they still outnumbered the Toyotas and Mahindras. Despite the climate and constant hill-climbing, they were still going strong but strangely, it seemed the fad to strip all the paintwork except for the bonnet - maybe it made them go faster?

darjeeling goods track

The end of the line at Darjeeling. The track in the foreground ran on into the marketplace and carried produce and freight.

The terminus of the railway is thet pinkish building in the background that looks like the bottom tier of a wedding cake.

In common with Blaenavon, it's a world heritage site!

The railway track in the foreground above is the only bit left of the spur that used to run right into the market at Darjeeling

Narrow gauge

Limited clearance - the line runs close to houses and shops through the villages and the train sometimes has to wait while a table is folded up or a sack of rice moved out of the way.

DHR shuntingDHR taking water

Travelling light engine - with a pause to take on water

The line zig-zags back and forth over the road which leads from the plains at Siliguri to the town of Darjeeling.

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